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Lat Incorporation for Bench

okay I know I have another thread here already but I was told that I don’t use enough lats when benching. So my questions are how would your set up have to be to incorporate them in bench? Where should my arms be at? Should they be flaired the whole time when benching or just when you are going to press? Also should I focus on adding size or more strength to my lats to help my bench?

I think working your lats for a bigger bench is over rated. It will keep you balanced and give you a solid base to push off of.

But as far as your lats helping you off your chest? I dont think its worth the trouble. I train with a guy who lowers his pause bench realy slow to get his lats in it. But what he is missing is that if he were to lower it faster and forget about the lat contraction he would be useing more weight.

Get a good arch, take a deep breath and hold it, and flex everything you can. You should be able to contract your lats to a point and it should help your bench some with training. But I think the whole training lats for a bigger bench primarily came from shirted lifters who have to pull the bar the last couple of inches to their chest to get it to touch.

I don’t think you’re going to “feel” your lats when you bench. I don’t.

Even though you might not feel your lats working, they’re important for benching. When I started doing Pendlay rows, my bench went up by 50 lbs. Pull-ups and chest-supported rows are also good exercises.

[quote]Uber N3wb wrote:
I think working your lats for a bigger bench is over rated. It will keep you balanced and give you a solid base to push off of.

But as far as your lats helping you off your chest? I dont think its worth the trouble. I train with a guy who lowers his pause bench realy slow to get his lats in it. But what he is missing is that if he were to lower it faster and forget about the lat contraction he would be useing more weight.

Get a good arch, take a deep breath and hold it, and flex everything you can. You should be able to contract your lats to a point and it should help your bench some with training. But I think the whole training lats for a bigger bench primarily came from shirted lifters who have to pull the bar the last couple of inches to their chest to get it to touch.

[/quote]

but then many lifters claim the lats give you a pop off the chest for raw benching…I guess I feel that I haven’t been working my back as much as I should maybe it will help with bench maybe it won’t I’ll start doing those pendlay rows.

The lats are activated for a short peroid right off the chest at the bottom of the movement. The wider your grip the more the lats come into play, but the lats most important role for the bench press is really stabilizing the torso, you can’t lift what you can’t stabilize.

Lats make all the difference in the world for a arched-back, low-groove, tucked-elbow bencher. Big lats work like a bench shirt. Try this- take a an empty bar and lower it to your chest, tucking your elbows hard into your lats. The bar should stop before it touchs your belly. That’s the tucking and lats stopping the bar.

So lifters prefer to be flared at the top. In that case you would start tucking part way down and reverse the movement on the way up- finishing with the weight over your neck. I prefer to tuck as soon as I start lowering the weight and stay tucked when pressing it out.

besides rnmexico has anyone noticed that their bench had significantly increased when working their lats harder?

Getting move compound movements up will increase your bench.

Examples of those
Squats
Deadlifts
Chinups
Rows
Dips
Shoulderpress

As far as what pinto said, you would have to tuck your elbows to get the most out of your lats, but then your elbows are at an angle and the force isnt being applyed directly up into the bar. It would be going slightly off at an angle. Which takes away from my bench alot.

[quote]I’mCharming wrote:
besides rnmexico has anyone noticed that their bench had significantly increased when working their lats harder?[/quote]

As a caveat, I started with a horrible back/chest strength imbalance. My row was around 55% of my bench, so there was a lot of room for improvement. I’ve worked really hard on my back over the last year, and it’s closer to 90% now.